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Step back in time – Historic Kent
Other than Kent being home to a handful of our fantastic holiday parks, how much do you know about the wonderful county and its enthralling history?We’ve put together a list of famous historical places in Kent along with some fun facts. How many do you know?
Canterbury Cathedral is a rich part of Kent history having stood tall for over 1,400 years; it was founded around 600AD by St Augustine when he was sent from Rome to bring Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons.
Thomas Becket’s murder
Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral after his loyalty to King Henry II was questioned. Due to their close friendship and matched commitment to enforcing the law, he had been promoted to Archbishop by the king.
Beckets’ attitude began to change, along with his beliefs, though he and Henry remained friends. This was until the king wanted to enforce common law over the church – members of the clergy at the time could avoid the standard punishment for crimes. The pair’s feud began when Beckett opposed and declared that the church was above the law.
King Henry’s soldiers mistook the King’s frustration as a command for action, they found Becket at the cathedral where they cracked open his skull, spilling his brains on the floor.
Though Henry VIII destroyed his shrine in 1540, you can still visit the exact spot where Thomas Beckett was murdered.
Home to Britain’s most haunted village
Pluckley, Kent was named Britain’s most haunted village by the Book of Guinness World Records in 1989, this was after reports of 12 different ghost sightings.
Residents have claimed to hear the screams of a brickworks labourer who was crushed by a clay wall, the sound of a horse-drawn carriage, which is said to haunt Maltman’s Hill, and reported sightings of a misty figure sitting on Pinnock Bridge.
A visit to the village should definitely be on the bucket list for those passionate about the paranormal! Or possibly, the Ghostbusters.
An edition of the Magna Carta established in 1215 was discovered in the town of Sandwich in the files of the history department of the Kent County Council. This makes Sandwich one of the few towns to own one of 24 known editions of the document.
The world’s first aircraft factory
The Isle of Sheppey played host to the world’s first ever aircraft factory built in 1909.
It later became the location of the first flight in Britain by a British pilot.
Henry VIII was a fan
Henry VIII clearly took a liking to the county as he named Kent ‘The Garden of England’ after trying (and loving) Kent grown cherries. He and Anne Boleyn also spent their honeymoon on the isle of Sheppey! Sadly (if perhaps unsurprisingly), their relationship later soured, and Anne Boleyn was beheaded in 1536.
Birthplace of the horse?
The oldest discovered horse fossil was found in Herne Bay in 1838, and is thought to date back about 54 million years ago, making a strong case that Kent could well be the birthplace of the horse.
The real Pocahontas is buried in Gravesend
While in her home town of Virginia, Pocahontas was captured and held for ransom by the English and was tortured on their boat for almost a year. After she learnt the English language and converted to Christianity she married farmer John Rolfe, this created peace and she was taken to England to be used as an example of the friendship between the English and the Natives.
Once her duties were complete, she planned to go back to Virginia where she could be with her family. She and her husband boarded a ship from England in 1617 though they never actually reached their destination. Pocahontas only made it as far as Gravesend where she was buried after dying of a respiratory illness.
Julius Caesar’s invasion of Britain started in Kent
Recent evidence has suggested that Julius Caesar’s ships arrived at Pegwell Bay in Kent. Veni vidi vici.
The home of Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill’s family home was in Kent. He lived there for about 43 years. The house is now open to the public and plays host to many events throughout the year.
Kent Holidays & Short Breaks
Choose Kent for your holiday home by the sea. Affectionately known as the 'Garden of England' its many historic towns, villages and scenic countryside give it an unparalleled and beautiful charm.
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